Note: In fertility/infertility circles, "trying to conceive" = TTC and "trying to avoid conception" = TTA.
Taking time off when you're trying to conceive can be good. Regroup, relax, stop thinking about planned sex. Give your body a break from fertility medications.
I've been on a medically-induced break for months. Months and months. Since my second miscarriage last September, actually. First it was waiting for the hCG to leave my system so we could do the repeated pregnancy loss panel. Then it was waiting for test results. Then uterine imaging times eleventy, surgeries, blah blah blah. Waiting indefinitely is a cruel thing to put a mid-30's infertile through.
However. I'm trying to see the positive side of time off as we look toward yet more months of waiting to try again. There are definitely positives.
1. I'm drinking all the coffee I want. Not really, because I get super jittery after 1.5 cups/day, but that 1.5 cups is a beautiful, life-affirming elixir each morning. I was drinking one cup a day before I knew I was pregnant last time, but guilt was involved. There is zero guilt right now.
2. I'm drinking wine sometimes. I don't drink often because of heartburn. Alcohol is a major culprit, along with citrus fruits, cheddar cheese, anything with tomatoes...the list goes on. But when I'm prepared to deal with the gastric side effects, I can totally drink.
3. I'm not taking my temperature. I half-heartedly kept charts for a few months after my last miscarriage, but that's gone out the window. My doctor has records of all the cycle-disrupting hormones I've been taking for the last few months. I'll let her do my only record keeping for a while.
4. I'm off people's "baby bump" watch list. When people know you've just undergone surgery, they tend to assume you aren't currently pregnant.
5 . I'm not having timed intercourse. Typical conversation when we're TTC for the umpteenth month in a row: "Should we do it before or after we watch Project Runway?" "Eh, let's just do it and get it out of the way." We haven't had to have that conversation in quite a while.
6. I'm not failing a test every month. You can't fail when you haven't tried. Sure, I still feel like a broken woman with a Franken-uterus, but the sense of failing an all-important, life-changing test every month is gone.
7. I'm eating what I want. Back to consumables. Lunch meat? Sure! Soft cheeses? Bring 'em on. Iffy leftovers? Eh, won't kill me. All the stuff I worry about when I'm trying isn't even close to being on my radar now. One could argue that I could keep doing my normal activities—coffee, soft cheeses and all—and get pregnant safely. But I know better than to try. I'm a worrier and it's better for me to skip the Intro to Kick-Boxing class when I'm TTC. It's not worth the worry that I'm going to harm my developing ova/blastocyst/zygote.
8. I'm not living my life in 2-week increments. No follicular phase freak-outs. No two-week wait. No mental breakdowns when Aunt Flo arrives involving crying in the bathroom, eating giant cookies, and spending money. (Of course, I've exchanged follicular and luteal phases for pre-op and post-op weeks, but I'm trying to be positive here.)
Of course, I desperately want to be TTC again. I want a chance of being pregnant. Even the hope roller-coaster sounds good about now. But I'm going to try to enjoy this break since I don't have much choice in the matter.
Post-op pain update: Pain still very much present but I'm seeing incremental improvements. My yoga muscles are atrophying and I'm not dumb enough to even try to stretch right now, so I'm still lying around a ton. Getting some amusement out of ordering my husband around.